Mystery flower thief targets Barking family gravestone five times

18:39 17 September 2012

From right: Teresa Wright at her nan and grandad

From right: Teresa Wright at her nan and grandad's gravestone with her mother Jean Comley

Archant

An unknown flower thief has been mysteriously targeting the gravestone of a Barking family’s relatives, taking fresh stems from the site five times this year alone and leaving family members upset but defiant.

Teresa Wright, 52, has been placing flowers at the Rippleside Cemetery graves of her nan and grandad, Catherine and Cyril Comley for nearly 23 years.

She visits the site almost daily, where she pays her respects not only to her grandparents but also her sister, Tracy Marshall, who died from breast cancer aged 42. But the flowers are only taken from her grandparents’ gravestone.

“A couple of times I thought it might have been squirrels pulling them out of the vase, but then I thought it was silly and that they couldn’t have taken that many flowers,” said Mrs Wright.

The first theft happened in March and has been continuing at random intervals throughout the year. Despite leaving notes to try to deter any further thefts, the family were targeted again last week.

Mrs Wright said her uncle and aunt left flowers at the grave on Saturday September 8, but by the time she arrived there the following Monday they were gone, along with the vase.

“How desperate can some people be just for a bunch of flowers?” she said.

“It’s coming up to the anniversary of my nan’s death this week and the thought of putting flowers down only to have someone take them is sickening.”

After reporting the latest incident to cemetery staff last Wednesday, Mrs Wright insists staff are very helpful but are too few in number to tackle this sort of crime.

A council spokesman said: “We have asked staff to be extra vigilant in the light of these reported incidents.

“Unfortunately, it is very difficult for staff to tell whether a person removing flowers is genuine or otherwise.”

The council also admitted the problem is compounded by the size of the 31 acre site and that contact had been made with the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

Nonetheless, the family remain defiant. “We are still putting flowers down. I won’t stop doing it because somebody is stealing them, it isn’t fair,” said Mrs Wright.

“We take pride in looking after my nan and grandad’s grave.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Martin Lowrence

A rapist who held a knife to his victim’s throat is facing jail - and was caught when he went to talk to police at the crime scene.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Do you know this man? (Photo: British Transport Police)

After a woman was touched inappropriately on a Tube train between Holborn and St Paul’s stations, police have released images of a man they would like to speak to.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Police want to speak to this pair (Photos: Metropolitan Police)

Detectives are hunting a man and a woman after two pensioners were robbed on their way home from the bank.

Monday, August 3, 2015
Police stopped the car along City Road.

A shotgun and several knives have been recovered by police after a car was stopped in Islington this afternoon.

Monday, August 3, 2015
He leans right over the tracks - then jumps down onto them (Photo: YouTube)

A trainspotter’s camera caught a reckless man jumping onto the tracks at Peckham Rye Overground station to rescue his mobile phone.

Monday, August 3, 2015
The victim was dragged into a secluded area near Tudor Close and raped (Photo: Google StreetView)

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was raped near Tudor Close in Brixton Hill in a seemingly random attack on Sunday.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could be zooming around a track of your choice!

Are you a competitive adrenaline junkie with a need for speed? Or looking for a fun family day out?

Read more
Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more